Mountain bike; which bicycle is best for the mountain? Find out 3 basic rules to remember when choosing a mountain bike. Mountain bikes are becoming more and more popular every day. Manufacturers responded quickly to the high demand and pursued improvements to this vehicle. Today, mountain bikes are fast off-road vehicles equipped with quality shock absorbers and excellent braking systems. Today we will tell you how to choose a mountain bike and not be disappointed with your purchase.
What is a mountain bike?
On a mountain bike, you can travel with the same comfort on city roads and rugged terrain. However, this is not its only advantage; today, you can find mountain bikes quite often. Bikes in this category are equipped with a reinforced frame, rims, and other elements. Therefore, the margin of safety increases significantly.
Thanks to the increased clearance between the road and the transmission, you can easily overcome the most difficult sections of the track. The tires have a deep tread, allowing reasonable bike control while riding on any surface. However, it would help if you remembered that mountain bikes are primarily intended for off-road riding, and some of the positive qualities of riding on asphalt can be a drawback. At the same time, our quality is expensive in most cases after a long time. Let’s take a look at the mountain bike variants.
Across the country
These bikes are designed for light off-road riding. Perhaps cross country is the most practical and standard solution. Moreover, such bicycles have a relatively low cost.
The cost is slightly higher than the previous version of the mountain bike. The double suspension is equipped with front and rear shock absorbers for a comfortable ride. However, this also increases the weight of the bike, which can be considered a disadvantage.
They are designed for downhill from steep mountain slopes. The safety margin of the bike is high, and athletes in competitions use it.
More recently, 26-inch wheels were considered the standard for mountain bikes. Recently, however, 27.5 and 29 inches are becoming more and more popular. Smaller wheel diameters make the bike more flexible, while larger wheels improve roll and contribute to a more comfortable ride.
Which bicycle is best for the mountain?
We have already noted that mountain bikes are primarily necessary for overcoming steep descents and ascents, as well as off-road. They thrive in the rain, snow, and icy roads. You can also ride a mountain bike on a paved road, but here they are in some respects inferior to road and highway bikes.
Among the reasons for this, we note:
- Due to the deep tread of the tires, resistance increases significantly.
- Due to the unique nature of the landing, the airflow increases.
- Shock absorbers slow down acceleration.
- Straight steering on the track is not very comfortable, and you have to slow down.
Mountain bikes are actively used by cyclists, free riders, and downhillers. Pay attention to the mountain bike if you often have to move on rough terrain. Below we will tell you how to choose a mountain bike.
Rules for choosing mountain bikes: general guidelines
Now we will talk about the general rules for mountain bikes for men and women.
- Urban or suburban driving – high frame, wide tires, rim brakes, and front shock absorbers.
- Cycling – light wheel weight, increased load capacity, front and rear shock absorbers, reliable disc or hydraulic brake system. The main requirement for a bicycle in such conditions is the ability to withstand long-term loads and sudden changes in travel conditions.
- Testing – minimal weight, increased load-bearing strength and ability to withstand jumps, small compact frame, and rigid fork.
- Double suspension – double suspension, the maximum strength of the main elements and the entire structure, shock absorbers travel from 150 millimeters.
- Freeride – Strong and lightweight construction, front shocks with a minimum of 100mm travel.
- XC – Lightweight, rigid construction. The main requirement for a bicycle in such conditions is the ability to develop high speed and overcome sandy roads well. The travel of the shock absorbers should be 80-100 millimeters, and a high-quality braking system and a large number of gears.
For many, this criterion is decisive. However, we recommend you budget with some margin because you will need some accessories, spare parts, etc. Also, its purpose depends on the cost of the bike. Let’s say that mountain bikes are much cheaper compared to drains.
This term defines the correspondence of the frame size to the athlete’s height. Wheel sizes are measured from the centerline of the carriage to the end of the seat tube in inches. For size selection, we recommend using unique tables.
How do you choose a mountain bike for a man?
We’ve already covered the general selection criteria, and it’s time to figure out how to choose a mountain bike based on gender. A mountain bike for a person should correspond not only to height but also to physiological characteristics.
Here are the main variables to watch out for:
- Free rack.
- Frame length.
- Straight leg.
Start your bike selection from a free rack. Place the bike between your legs; in this position, the minimum distance from the top tube of the frame should be 4 to 5 centimeters. However, we recommend choosing a wheel with a margin; in this case, this number will already be 7-10 centimeters. We do not recommend taking bikes strictly to size, as on-the-move emergencies are possible, for example, sudden braking. To minimize the risk of injury and it is worth having a stock.
It is possible, but not necessary, to choose the wheel size according to the tables. Suppose you know the length of your legs. In that case, the following formula works great: divide the height of your portion (in centimeters) by 0.56 and multiply the result by 2.54.
Once you have decided on the frame, you can start adjusting the seat height. It should be positioned so that the foot on the pedal at the lowest point of the curve is almost fully extended. In this case, both feet should reach the ground. If you get the frame wrong, you won’t be able to adjust the saddle properly either.
Also, note the length of the frame. The standard seat-to-handlebar distance should provide an approximate fit. Look for a different bike if you are forced to lean or recline during the selection stage. The last advice when choosing a male model concerns the athlete’s body. For lean cyclists, oversized frames are great, but fullers should focus on lows.
How do you choose a mountain bike for a woman?
Should choose bikes for representatives of the beautiful half of humanity by the anatomical structure. Here I would like to note that although mountain bikes are becoming increasingly popular among girls, they are still sought after by men.
We recommend that you observe the following criteria when choosing a mountain bike for a girl:
- Low weight.
- Correspondence of frame size to athlete’s height.
- Shortened and lowered frame.
Of course, you can take a closer look at versatile bikes, but the ride on them will not be completely comfortable. Most often, manufacturers guess the best parameters for a bicycle. In this case, you only need to make a slight adjustment for a comfortable ride. The frame height for girls will be one size smaller than men’s bikes.
A comfortable and safe trip depends primarily on fit. Mounting on a mountain bike corresponds to the body’s tilt at about 45 degrees. Since girls’ back length is shorter than men’s, the front tubes should be more straightforward. However, the saddle should be broader and more comfortable. Also, remember the “barefoot” rule, which no one has canceled.
A women’s bike does not have to be heavy. Remember that you will encounter situations when you must hold the bike in your hands. We recommend that girls pay attention to light models equipped with tight frames.
Design features: brake system and wheels
Since using a mountain bike requires a lot of stress, the wheels must be strong, and the brakes must be reliable. We have already talked about the characteristics of wheels and tires above. However, it should be warned. With frequent travel on the highway, it is worth stopping the choice of semi-slippery. Otherwise, aggressive guardians will squeeze all the strength out of you. If you are not limited in finances, you can take a replacement package made of rubber and thus turn the mountain bike into a real jeep.
We recommend paying attention to the rims. If steel was used to make them, look for a different wheel. Alloy wheels are the best choice. Anodized ones, which vary in black, will cost you a bit more. We do not recommend skimping on a mountain bike and buying a model equipped with a double rim. If we talk about brakes, each of the two types has its pros and cons.
Rim brake system
Easier to use and repair, and brake reliability is highly dependent on exposure to water and dirt. Since we are talking about a mountain bike, which should easily overcome off-road, this is very important. If the wheel gets eight, the brake brakes will be less effective. If you choose this brake system, pay attention to the v-brake – brakes with parallel pads.
Disc brake system
Due to several advantages, disc brakes have recently replaced rim brakes on the market. They have high braking efficiency, better sense the size of the pressure force on the brake lever, are not dependent on weather conditions, cannot increase the wear of the rims, and are resistant to the deformation of the wheel. Among the disadvantages of the disc brake system, we note the higher cost, increased weight, and some risks of damage to the discs as the wheel is broken by the obstacle.